All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

Google confirms $7m Wi-Fi snooping settlement

12 Mar 2013
Google Street View car

Google has reached a settlement which would end the firm's long-running data harvesting case in the US.

The company will pay $7m to settle a case backed up some 38 US states.

"Consumers have a right to protect their vital personal and financial information from improper and unwanted use by corporations like Google,” said New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

“This settlement addresses privacy issues and protects the rights of people whose information was collected without their permission."

The settlement ends a case against Google which dates back to 2010, when it was revealed that the company's Street View camera units had been illegally snooping in on local Wi-Fi networks while the vehicles were taking pictures for the service.

At the time, attorney generals in the various US states had expressed concern over Google's explanation of why it had collected the data and what it intended to do with it.

Google was slapped with similar charges in Europe in 2010. Authorities called on the company to come forward and explain its actions in collecting Wi-Fi data during its maps surveying trips across the EU.

The company said in a statement provided to V3 that it did not knowingly gather or profit from the data collection, which was said to be the work of a rogue engineer.

"We work hard to get privacy right at Google. But in this case we didn't, which is why we quickly tightened up our systems to address the issue," the company said.

"The project leaders never wanted this data, and didn't use it or even look at it."

The US Federal Trade Commission said in 2010 that it would not be pursuing any action against Google as the company did not appear to have retained or utilised the data it had collected.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

More on Government
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet powered by Android KitKat 4.4

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet video

We take a look at the lightweight, waterproof tablet

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery


iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Software Development Engineer

Develop: Customise: Configure. Maximise your technical...

Manual Test Analyst /Tester Windows SQL Finance

Manual Test Analyst /Tester Windows SQL Financial Software...

.NET 4.5 Software Engineer C# Visual Studio

.NET 4.5 Software Engineer C# Visual Studio An opportunity...

Senior Project Manager (Software, service, technology, digital

Senior Project Manager (Software, service, technology...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.